Alienware AM11x-826CSB

Many gamers love the name Alienware, and their laptops are often some of the best gaming computers. The AM11x-826CSB is also one of their cheaper ones. This gaming laptop has an MSRP of $899, but some places sell it even cheaper than that. That’s certainly a low price for an Alienware machine, but did they cut any corners to make the laptop that cheap? Well, yes and no. As with all cheap gaming laptops, compromises had to be made.

The AM11x has a very curvy, sleek look to it, but it also is built to be sturdy and hold up to the on-the-go stress that laptops have to deal with. It has a number of different ports, including a VGA connection, Ethernet, HDMI, three USB slots, a four-pin FireWire line, two headphone ports, and a mic input. The machine has a light up keyboard and other LED lit areas that can be customized to your favorite color. They keyboard itself is fairly flat—it’s not rubber—and has been laid out specifically for gaming. The trackpad on the AM11x is fairly small, but it works just fine.

Continued from above: The monitor on the AM11x measures 11.6 inches, which is a bit small. It has a resolution of 1366 x 768. It’s bright and shart, which is good. The computer uses a NVIDIA GPU GT335M to power its graphics, and it really beats many other laptops in the same price range. The 1.3 GHz Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor can easily keep up with most games. The 320 GB hard drive can hold a good amount of games, and the 4 GB of RAM is quite nice.

Battery life is always important when discussing laptops, especially gaming rigs. The AM11x battery is challenged by the almost continuous use of the cooling fan. You probably won’t get much more than two and a half or three hours of gaming time before you need a recharge, but again, that’s somewhat standard with gaming laptops. If you aren’t running graphics-intensinve gaming, you’ll get upwards of seven hours out of it. It’s certainly not horrible, but it’s not the best, either.

Overall, the AM11x is one of the top gaming laptops under $1,000 that you’ll find. While it doesn’t have amazing graphics or a long battery life, you’re not going to find those on an affordable laptop.